I got no time for people who aren’t interested in psychedelic experiences… and I think a psychedelic jihad should be waged against those who try and prohibit the use of psychedelics! 😀
(if someone is going to try and tell me how I can and cannot experience my own consciousness, I’m prepared to put a bullet in their head)
Anyhoo… in regards to my own mystical experiences on Ayahuasca… the second occasion I drunk stands out above all the rest!
Drank, spewed, closed my eyes and sat back in a rocking chair, and within two minutes I’m having a telepathic conversation with ‘the green man’, asking me if I want a good experience…
Next thing two angelic butterfly beings blasted their way into my consciousness, and took me on a journey of… fuck knows. It was like having an argument with them in regards to the state of the planet, and the state of humanity (which is in a fucking state if people haven’t noticed!)
THEN! 😀 After an hour or so of arguing with these beings, they where like “If you’re not going to listen to us, we’ll put you on to someone else!”
The next thing I’m looking at the divine Goddess mother (Gaia, Sophia) in the form of The Tree of Life. She was bigger than the entire Universe … and she was giving off these beautiful buds that where dropping onto the floor. I climbed up, climbed along a branch to get a closer look and these beautiful buds where forming, every colour imaginable (purple, emerald green, orange, blue, red)… and they where human souls.
She’s telling me not to harm any of them because they are all her children (I KNOW!)… so I argued with here as well 😀
AND THEN! 😀 She was like “If you’re not going to listen to me…”, and I was thrown out to deepest darkest realm of the Universe or existence (“more like banished like General Zod!” “how about fuck off!”)… so I was having a strop (“like a child!”) in the darkest reaches of the Universe, but every planet had consciousness and meaning (even the shitty little lifeless, lumps of ice)… they where all playing a part in a giant cosmic symphony…
AND THEN! 😀 It was just a huge flash of light that encompassed everything… EVERYTHING!!! It was absolutely amazing… just pure love, and forgiveness, and acceptance, and harmony… every positive emotion and thought in the form of this blazing light of creation, that eloped the entire existence!
And then I came back! Everyone was looking at me because I had been had been in hysterical fits of laughter for the entire duration (four hours?)… it kind of ruined it for the rest of the people there! (way beyond giving a shit).
I’ve drunk it thirty or so times since! (mostly in the Amazon)… I’ve had some amazing experiences! I once went to the Dagobah planet to meet Master Yoda… he wasn’t there, but it was the most peaceful and serene experience ever, I could have stayed for thousands of years, and I was unbelievably pissed when the curandero brought me back (after like ten minutes!)… and don’t say it hasn’t had a positive effect… CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW MANY PEOPLE I WOULD HAVE KILLED IF I HADN’T HAD THESE EXPERIENCES! (half the UK stalking me?)
Atheists Found “God” or “Ultimate Reality” After Taking Psychedelic Drugs
“It speaks to the remarkable authority that experiences of that type often have.”
The use of psychedelic drugs to treat psychological illness is showing promising results, but the spiritual side effects are rarely mentioned. Early data show they can help people heal from post traumatic stress disorder, depression, and addiction, but “supernatural” or “divine” experiences are remarkably common for these patients as well. To better understand how these mystical encounters affect people in the long term, scientists publishing in PLOS One assessed the mental health effects they had on over 4,000 people who had experienced them.
In the paper, published Tuesday, psychiatry and neuroscience researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine describe the shifts that those people felt following drug-induced and non-drug-induced encounters with “God,” a “Higher Power,” an “Ultimate Reality,” or an “Aspect or Emissary of God” (an angel). 25 percent were atheists before their DMT experience, but only 7 percent were after.
Through anonymous online surveys, 3,476 people reported supernatural encounters that they had while on psilocybin (magic mushrooms), LSD, ayahuasca, or DMT. An additional 809 people reported they had non-drug encounters with supernatural or divine forces, but the survey did not gather information on what, if anything, apparently sparked their experiences.
One of the paper’s most striking findings is that people who identified as atheists dropped that identity after a psychedelic encounter with something that felt greater than themselves. Twenty-one percent of the psychedelic users reported being atheists before their experience, while only 8 percent reported being atheists after. The biggest absolute change in atheist status occurred after mystical encounters induced by DMT: 25 percent were atheists before their experience, versus only 7 percent after.
To Robert Jesse, a Johns Hopkins co-investigator on the study, the new findings confirm what he and his colleagues have learned about the important role of mystical experiences in psychedelic-assisted therapies.
“From one angle, it’s unsurprising when people who previously identified as atheist take the time to report a God encounter, by whatever name, and say that after it they no longer identify as atheist,” Jesse tells Inverse.
“Still, it speaks to the remarkable authority that experiences of that type often have.”
The team has previously studied the role of psychedelic experiences in treating addiction and depression and anxiety in terminally ill people. They have made use of the Mystical Experience Questionnaire, a systematic outline for identifying mystical experiences, in their work, finding in 2018 that study participants who reported mystical experiences on psilocybin were more likely to have long-lasting positive psychological effects.
In the new paper, the team observed that these lasting benefits occur regardless of whether a mystical experience happens under the influence of psychedelic drugs or spontaneously, without drugs. This effect, Jesse says, provides the strongest support yet for the idea of “causal indifference” as it relates to mystical experiences.
“To the extent an experience and its consequences are indistinguishable from others with different apparent causes, it doesn’t matter what the apparent cause was,” he says. In other words, regardless of whether drugs or something else trigger the mystical experience, the effect appears to be the same.SponsoredVolume 0%00:0000:15
And indeed, the surveys bear that out. Even though the drug group, on average, rated their experiences more challenging and more psychologically insightful than the non-drug group, most members of both groups reported that the encounter was one of the most personally meaningful and spiritually significant experiences of their lives.
Brad Burge, the communications director for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, tells Inverse that this paper is an exciting development. MAPS is a research nonprofit that’s currently sponsoring clinical trials for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy but was not involved in this new study.
“Spiritual and mystical experiences have long been understood to play a strong role in the observed therapeutic mechanisms of psychedelics,” says Burge. “As psychedelic-assisted therapies including MDMA, psilocybin, and ketamine re-enter legal medical practice, studies like this will help elucidate not just the similarities but also the differences between different psychedelic therapies, which will be important information for doctors and patients seeking the treatments in the near future,” he adds.
To avoid any confusion, Jesse is careful to point out that this paper does not claim to prove the existence of God, angels, or any other kind of supernatural beings, saying, “What the paper gives is a statistical picture of how respondents describe their encounters and of the reported consequences of those encounters.”
Abstract: Naturally occurring and psychedelic drug–occasioned experiences interpreted as personal encounters with God are well described but have not been systematically compared. In this study, five groups of individuals participated in an online survey with detailed questions characterizing the subjective phenomena, interpretation, and persisting changes attributed to their single most memorable God encounter experience (n = 809 Non-Drug, 1184 psilocybin, 1251 lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), 435 ayahuasca, and 606 N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT)). Analyses of differences in experiences were adjusted statistically for demographic differences between groups. The Non-Drug Group was most likely to choose “God” as the best descriptor of that which was encountered while the psychedelic groups were most likely to choose “Ultimate Reality.” Although there were some other differences between non-drug and the combined psychedelic group, as well as between the four psychedelic groups, the similarities among these groups were most striking. Most participants reported vivid memories of the encounter experience, which frequently involved communication with something having the attributes of being conscious, benevolent, intelligent, sacred, eternal, and all-knowing. The encounter experience fulfilled a priori criteria for being a complete mystical experience in approximately half of the participants. More than two-thirds of those who identified as atheist before the experience no longer identified as atheist afterwards. These experiences were rated as among the most personally meaningful and spiritually significant lifetime experiences, with moderate to strong persisting positive changes in life satisfaction, purpose, and meaning attributed to these experiences. Among the four groups of psychedelic users, the psilocybin and LSD groups were most similar and the ayahuasca group tended to have the highest rates of endorsing positive features and enduring consequences of the experience. Future exploration of predisposing factors and phenomenological and neural correlates of such experiences may provide new insights into religious and spiritual beliefs that have been integral to shaping human culture since time immemorial.
Tim Ferriss just helped launch the world’s first research center dedicated to turning psychedelics into medicines
The Imperial Center for Psychedelic Research is set to open on Friday in London.
The world’s first research hub dedicated exclusively to psychedelics opens on Friday with backing from author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss.
Located in London, the new center will be ground zero for studying the potential of turning drugs like ecstasy and magic mushrooms into medical treatments.
It’s called the Imperial Center for Psychedelic Research, and it was funded with nearly $4 million from donors.
Scientists at the center will focus on using psychedelics to treat thorny brain diseases like depression, anxiety, and anorexia.
Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
One podcast episode was all it took to hook the best-selling author and investor Tim Ferriss on the topic of psychedelics.
For one of his recent shows, Ferriss interviewed author Michael Pollan about his latest book, “How to Change Your Mind,” which details Pollan’s experiences trying several psychedelic drugs including magic mushrooms and LSD. After talking through Pollan’s trips and diving into the science of how the drugs appear to impact the brain, Ferriss’ interest was piqued.
On Friday, with Ferriss’ financial backing, researchers will open the doors to the world’s first research hub dedicated exclusively to psychedelics.
Located in London, the Imperial Center for Psychedelic Research will be home to scientists studying the potential to turn drugs like ecstasy, magic mushrooms, and LSD into approved medical treatments. Scientists will focus on addressing severe brain diseases which remain difficult to treat, such as depression and the eating disorder anorexia.
“Current treatments aren’t cutting it. They’re not making the difference we need,” Robin Carhart-Harris, the head of the new center and a neuroscience and pharmacology researcher at London’s Imperial College, told Business Insider.
The center’s other funders include Canadian businessperson and founder of audiobooks.com Sanjay Singhal, banker-turned-philanthropist and Google advisor Shamil Chandaria, British executive Anton Bilton, and venture capitalist Bohdana Tamas.
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While psychedelics like ayahuasca have played a medical and spiritual role in indigenous cultures across the globe for centuries, the new center will be the first formal hub of its kind.
“These compounds may help treat intractable conditions affecting tens of millions of people, and they may help us better understand the nature of consciousness itself,” Ferris said in a statement.
A flurry of renewed interest in psychedelics as medicine
Bestselling author Tim Ferriss was turned onto psychedelics after speaking with author Michael Pollan about his new book.
Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider
The center’s opening comes on the heels of a flurry of renewed interest in psychedelics’ potential to treat thorny brain diseases like depression. Up until last month, there had been essentially only one kind of federally-approved antidepressant for decades. That drug is a pill called an SSRI. It is commonly sold under brand names like Lexapro and Prozac. But in March, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the first new non-SSRI depression drug: a nasal spray inspired by the semi-psychedelic drug ketamine.
“Things have really started to gain momentum,” Carhart-Harris said.
With nearly $4 million from its five founding donors, the center’s researchers also aim to open a clinic. Ideally, the clinic would function as a prototype for future psychedelic medical facilities. Carhart-Harris said he hopes the space could serve simultaneously as a clinic for treating illness and also for helping to keep healthy people well.
Scientists will build on a foundation of pioneering work on drugs like magic mushrooms and LSD
In Carhart-Harris’ view, the new center will help build on a foundation of pioneering efforts into studying psychedelics’ medical potential.
Under his leadership, scientists at Imperial College were the first to study whether psilocybin, the main psychoactive component of magic mushrooms, had a positive impact on patients with severe depression. They were also global leaders in exploring the impacts of LSD on the human brain using modern brain-imaging technology.
Based on that work, researchers in New York and Baltimore launched their own clinical trials designed to further probe the drugs’ therapeutic potential. They’ve now studied psilocybin in cancer patients facing severe anxiety about death; ecstasy in veterans with PTSD; and ayahuasca in people with depression.
Read more: Regulators just approved a new depression drug with the potential to be a game-changer
Still, psychedelic researchers have faced roadblocks along the way, Carhart-Harris said.
Part of the motivation for the new center came from frustration with repeated attempts to raise funds from mainstream medical groups like the National Institutes of Health and the UK’s National Health Service.
“We’ve faced the perfect storm of stigma,” Carhart-Harris said. “Psychedelics are scary to some people, and then mental illness, that can be a sensitive topic. Even psychotherapy and psychology are also heavily stigmatized.”
Earlier this year, Carhart-Harris’ group started a new trial in people with depression that will compare psilocybin with a traditional antidepressant. Next year, they aim to assess whether the same drug could also hold potential to treat anorexia. Both diseases seem to be characterized by a kind of rigidity, he said. Whether they are about self doubt or food, cyclical and pervasive thoughts trap the brain in a whirlwind of negativity.
“Psychedelics seem to relax these biases of thought and behavior so you get a kind of openness,” Carhart-Harris said.
“That’s a window of opportunity for therapy where if you can cultivate healthy changes, potentially you’re on a good track.”
Imperial launches world’s first Centre for Psychedelics Research
by Ryan O’Hare 26 April 2019
Exploring the potential for psychedelic therapies
The first formal centre for psychedelic research in the world will launch at Imperial College London today.
Funded by more than £3 million from five founding donors, the new Imperial Centre for Psychedelic Research will build on over a decade of pioneering work in this area carried out at Imperial, including a clinical trial that has kick-started global efforts to develop psilocybin therapy into a licensed treatment for depression. It will also investigate their potential for treating other conditions, including anorexia.
Led by Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, the Centre will focus on two main research themes: the use of psychedelics in mental health care; and as tools to probe the brain’s basis of consciousness.
Psychedelic therapy holds a great deal of promise for treating some very serious mental health conditions and may one day offer new hope to vulnerable people with limited treatment options Dr Robin Carhart-Harris Head of the Centre for Psychedelic Research, Imperial College London
The newly established Centre will be based at Imperial’s Hammersmith campus, sharing space between Imperial College London and the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.
The Centre also aims to develop a research clinic that could help to gather additional clinical evidence and become a prototype for the licensed psychedelic care facilities of the future.
Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, head of the Imperial Centre for Psychedelic Research, said: “This new Centre represents a watershed moment for psychedelic science; symbolic of its now mainstream recognition. Psychedelics are set to have a major impact on neuroscience and psychiatry in the coming years. It’s such a privilege to be at the forefront of one of the most exciting areas in medical science. I am immensely grateful to the donors who have made all of this possible.”
Dr Carhart-Harris adds: “It may take a few years for psychedelic therapy to be available for patients, but research so far has been very encouraging. Early stage clinical research has shown that when delivered safely and professionally, psychedelic therapy holds a great deal of promise for treating some very serious mental health conditions and may one day offer new hope to vulnerable people with limited treatment options.”
In the last decade a number of research groups in Europe and the Americas have conducted studies into the safety and effectiveness of psychedelics for conditions such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but the new Imperial centre is the first to gain this level of stature within a major academic institution.
Imperial’s Psychedelic Research Group was the first in the world to investigate the brain effects of LSD using modern brain imaging and the first to study psilocybin – the active compound in magic mushrooms – for treating severe depression. These studies have laid the groundwork for larger trials that are now taking place around the world.
Dr Robin Carhart-Harris
Other pioneering work from the group includes breakthrough neuroimaging research with psilocybin, MDMA and DMT (the psychoactive compounds found in ecstasy and ayahuasca respectively).
Earlier this year the group began a new trial directly comparing psilocybin therapy with a conventional antidepressant drug in patients with depression – a study for which they are still recruiting volunteers. Building on this, they also plan to begin another new trial next year to explore the safety and feasibility of psilocybin for treating patients with anorexia.
Professor Paul Matthews, Head of the Division of Brain Sciences at Imperial, said: “This new Centre demonstrates the real commitment of the funders and of the College to rigorous investigation of what has been, until recently, a fringe area of medical science. Through this and other aspects of our internationally leading neuropharmacological research, we may one day be able to better address the widespread and serious mental health conditions that can devastate people’s lives and for which there are currently few effective treatments.”
For further details about the ongoing clinical trial for treatment-resistant depression, contact Ashleigh Murphy: firstname.lastname@example.org and visit the team’s webpage for more details.
The trial currently carried out at Imperial ‘Psilocybin for major depression’ is a randomised control trial in major depressive disorder. The researchers are using fMRI to compare the treatment mechanisms of six weeks of daily Escitalopram (SSRI antidepressant) with two doses of psilocybin. The trial commenced in January 2019 and the team are still recruiting for participants. For full details, visit the web page of the Psychedelic research group.
The current trial into psilocybin is carried out with funding support from the Alexander Mosley Charitable Trust.